Heading into our Family Dinner final class at Bayard Taylor, we fully expected the most inspiring moment would be when our fifth graders marched the food out of the kitchen to our table in the cafeteria.
That WAS inspiring, as the young chefs proudly paraded the platters of cornflake chicken, sweet potato fries and oatmeal banana muffins they had made for their parents.
But for pure inspiration, that moment was topped by the story Angel Asencio’s mother told us a few minutes later. Angel, it turns out, had been in the hospital the night before with an asthma attack. But he insisted on leaving the hospital that night, and coming to school the next day, she said, because “he didn’t want to miss this.”
We take our hats off to that dedication — and to the enthusiasm displayed throughout our class by Angel’s classmates Giselle Velez, Angeline Torres, Katie Wilson, Chris Quinones and ShyJanay Turner. And we take our hats off to the parents who came out to support their kids at our final class.
For Family Dinner we mixed and matched recipes from different weeks, and the parents were impressed.
Katie’s dad enjoyed the chicken so much he recorded a video of him eating it in the cafeteria. “I like this chicken and you can see where I’m eating it,” he said into his phone, confiding to Katie later that “I want you to make this at home.”
The healthy sweet potato fries were also a hit, and every parent made sure they included some when we packed up the extra food to take home.
Angeline’s mother, meanwhile, liked the muffins so much she asked her daughter to translate the ingredients into her native Spanish so she could enjoy them even more.
As a keepsake from our class, we gave each student a packet of photos showing their achievements and a booklet containing all the blogs recording our experiences. They loved seeing themselves in action one more time, and some parents took pictures immediately to send to family and friends.
As we exchanged hugs at the end, Angeline declared for one and all “I’m going to miss this class!”